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Source: Wales – City of Cardiff

Ysgol Hamadryad, the first ever Welsh-medium school in Butetown, Cardiff, has been officially opened today by Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, and Welsh Government Minister for Education Kirsty Williams.

The School has been joint funded by Cardiff Council and Welsh Government, through the city’s £164m, Band A 21st Century Schools and Education programme.

Headteacher,Mrs Rhian Carbiswas joined by children, staff and governors to welcome guests, including local politicians and those who played a key part in the school’s construction.

Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “This is a significant day for Ysgol Hamadryad which represents an almost £10m investment in the local community.

“Serving one of the most diverse areas in Wales, it is fantastic to see a Welsh-medium school coming to Butetown for the first time whilst providingchildren with excellent facilities and a learning environment fit for the 21stCentury.

Cllr Merry added; “Today is also another milestone for Welsh-medium education, not just for this community, but for the whole of Cardiff. Ysgol Hamadryad is an example of the work we are doing as a council, in partnership with Welsh Government, to meet the increasing demand for Welsh-medium education in Cardiff as well as our continued commitment to reach a target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050. If we are to achieve this, education, particularly for children from families who don’t speak Welsh, is key.”

Ysgol Hamadryad was established in September 2016, in temporary accommodation next to Ninian Park Primary School in Grangetown. The new school opened its gates for the first time at its new home in January 2019 and serves Butetown, Canton, Grangetown and Riverside areas of Cardiff. 

The name of the school is deeply rooted in the history of the area. The Hamadryad was a hospital ship that was moored between 1866 and 1905 on the River Taff, close to the new school site. 

At two forms of Entry, the new building can accommodate up to 420 pupils, plus 48 full-time equivalent nursery places. In addition,it also incorporates facilities available for use by the wider local communityincluding a multi-use games area, which are available to use outside school hours, changing rooms and a community room. 

Education Minister Kirsty Williams said;“Investing in projects that are well-designed, safe, and are able to meet the needs of learners, teachers and the local community is at the core of our 21st Century Schools and Education programme.

“Ysgol Hamadryad is the perfect example of how we’re investing in Welsh Language education to ensure we reach our goal of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.

“The fantastic new school will serve as a Welsh Language hub within the Butetown community, offering top class Welsh language education that meets the growing demand for Welsh-medium education in the area.”

Headteacher, Mrs Rhian Carbis said: “I am delighted that the day has arrived to officially open Ysgol Hamadryad and celebrate the schools journey so far. Our vision to establish an excellent, community, multicultural and multilingual school here in Butetown, offering Welsh-medium education to generations of children is successfully being realised. Reiterating our motto and linking to the school’s history,Ysgol Hamadryad is the secure anchor before setting sail.

“I would like to thank the whole school community – Governors, staff, parents and most importantly the children for embracing and supporting Welsh-medium education and ensuring that the Welsh language is thriving in this part of the city.

Cardiff Council announced itsnext phase of the 21stCentury Schools programmeat the end of last year. At a total of £284m, Band B represents the largest single investment in Cardiff’s schools. 

Cllr Sarah Merry said: “In partnership with Welsh Government we have already delivered a wide range of schools in recent years. The latest £284m investment is the biggest Cardiff has ever seen and will allow us to continue to renew our schools, replacing those that are reaching the end of their operational life as well as enabling us to provide more school places across all sectors, creating extra capacity needed as Cardiff’s population continues to grow.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom